Jentezen Franklin - Come Up Here
Look in the Bible to Revelation 4. I'm going to go to Revelation 4 for just a few moments. And I want you to help me preach a little a bit. Your job is to rejoice when I say something good. Hallelujah, if I don't say nothing good, just sit there and look at me like a... but there's a pigeon looking for you. So, if you just sit there like a statue, ones going to maybe find you in this service. Revelation 4: "And after these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking to me, saying, 'Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.' Immediately," the next verse says, "Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One who sat on the throne".
I want to talk to you today about this voice that calls us to "come up here". We need to have heaven on our mind. In this room that I am preaching in today, and literally thousands, tens of thousands, potentially millions who are viewing by television and those online, I'm talking to people, precious people, who have been strained and stretched to their limits emotionally. I'm talking to people who have been hounded by physical pain and been harassed by financial difficulty and pressure on their mind.
I'm talking to people who have been humbled by domestic disharmony and trouble in their families and in their marriages. And the deal is Satan wants to keep our attention on our problems and off of our promises. He wants us to live shallow, earth-bound lives. The devil wants us to smother the promise that Jesus made in John 14 and get you only to focus on the passing and not the permanent, only on the temporal and not the eternal. But remember John 14, where Jesus said, "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go....I will come again and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you will be also".
John was on the Isle of Patmos. God saved him from a boiling pot of oil. He was thrown in. He was the last living disciple. And they threw him in a pot of oil and tried to boil him alive. And for some reason, he would not die. They can't kill you as long as God... He had a book he had to write called the book of Revelation. And God wouldn't let the boiling oil kill him. And they pulled him out of the boiling oil and they marooned him on an island called the Isle of Patmos. And there, alone by himself, suddenly, something happened to him. God allowed him to see a door. And the door had a voice that came out of it that said, "Hey, are you having a bad day? Are you having a bad week? Are you having a bad month, John? Come up here. Come see from heaven's perspective what's really going on when you're having a bad day down there".
And suddenly, he was able to go up into paradise, to peer into heaven's paradise, and he began to see and hear and eavesdrop on heaven and all the beauty, the sounds, the sights of heaven. He peered into the paradise of God because heaven is a place. It's not just a state of mind. It is not a sentimental dream. It is not a figment of our imagination that we make up to comfort people who are grieving the loss of a loved one. If heaven is not real, then the Bible is a lie. Jesus said, "In My Father's house are many mansions..." Listen to this, "...if it were not so, I would tell you". But He said, "I'm telling you, there is a place called heaven".
That's why when Jesus was ascending up to heaven after His death and resurrection in Acts 1:11, the angels asked the disciples a question, "Why do you stand here gazing, looking at Jesus? This same Jesus, which you see taken up from you, shall so come in like manner..." And then in 1 Thessalonians 4, "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with a voice of an archangel, and the trump of God will sound. The dead in Christ shall be raised first. We who are alive and remain will be caught up together to meet them in the clouds, in the air. And so shall we ever be with the Lord". And it doesn't end there? It doesn't end there. Then he adds this little P.S. He says, "Wherefore," the reason I said all of that, "comfort one another with these words".
We are commanded to preach about heaven. We are commanded to preach about the rapture of the church of Jesus Christ. He said, "I command you to comfort one another with these words. I don't want the people with their minds only on earth-dwelling. I want them, while they're dwelling on earth, to have heaven on their mind, to know that this ol' world is not all there is". And I have come this morning to comfort you. I have come to tell you that heaven is a real place. One thousand eight hundred and sixty-five times in the Old Testament, heaven is referred to; 316 times in the New Testament, heaven is referred to. If it's mentioned that much, we ought to be talking about heaven. We ought to be singing about heaven. We ought to be preaching about heaven. We ought to be shouting about heaven. We ought to be testifying about heaven. We ought to have heaven on our mind.
1 Peter 1:4 said, "You have been given an inheritance that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven," listen to this, "wherein you should greatly rejoice in this hope". Oh, we ought to greatly rejoice that heaven is real. It's real. And I want to let hell know, we still believe in heaven. I'm not going to let the devil take heaven off the table. I know that we're blessed and we're victorious here on earth, but this is not it. Jesus rose again and He said, "I'm coming back again and I'm going to take you to a place where you'll never have a tear or a sorrow again". It's called heaven, and it's still on the table.
Somebody greatly rejoice with me if you believe. If you believe, you have joy today in the midst of your sorrow; perplexed but not overcome. I've got heaven on my mind. I've got heaven on my mind. We used to sing an old song in our church, I did everything in our music department when dad pastored his little country church. I played the drums. I played the sax. I played the piano. I led the choir. I led the children's choir. I sung the solo. And one of the songs that I remember was: "Well, I'm feeling mighty fine, 'Cause I've got heaven on my mind. Don't you know I want to go, Where the milk and honey flows? There's a light, that always shines, down inside"... Now, don't worry about it. If I don't know it, I'll make it up. "This heart of mine I've got heaven on my mind, And I'm feeling mighty fine".
They'd get that thing going about 90 miles an hour. And I'm telling you, the B3 organ with the whatever it was would get to going and we'd have church just off that song. People'd be dancing and shouting and hairpins stabbing into the sheetrock. Y'all don't even know what I'm talking about. I feel sorry for you. They used to stack their hair up so high, when they'd shout, the bobby pins would hit you in the eye if you weren't careful. Y'all don't even know what a bobby pin is, do you? But I love that fact. "I'm feeling mighty fine 'cause I've got heaven on my mind". If you're depressed, if you're on depression pills, if you've got mulligrubs, you need to get heaven on your mind. If you want to get to feeling mighty fine, you just get heaven on your mind. Oh, come on and shout with me somebody.
If you could travel at the speed of light, you would get to the planet Mercury in four and a half minutes. It's 57 million miles away. If you could travel at the speed of light, you could get to Jupiter, which is 390 million miles away. It would take you 35 minutes. If you wanted to go to Saturn, which is 793 million miles away, it would take you one hour and ten minutes. If you want to go to Neptune, it's 2.7 billion miles; and if you want to go to Pluto, it's another billion on top of that so it's going to take you several hours to get to those planets, if you're traveling by the speed of light. But I love the fact that John said, "When the door opened and I heard a voice say, Come up here," heaven is further than all of those places and he said, "Immediately I was there".
In the moment, in the twinkling of an eye, we shall be changed at the sound of the last trump and this mortal will put on immortality and this corruption will put on incorruption and we shall be changed. I believe it. "Behold, I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep," but death is going to be swallowed up in victory. I don't know who you've buried. I don't know who you've said goodbye to. But one of these days, that whole gravesite is going to be swallowed up in resurrection power and they're going to come out of that grave and testify, "Jesus is Lord. Jesus is Lord over death, hell, and the grave". Somebody give God praise and I'll keep preaching. Hallelujah.
Heaven is real. Oh, I want to go. Tell somebody, "I want to go there". I want to go there. I want to walk on streets of gold. I want to see walls of jasper. "Therefore, be steadfast". Get heaven on your mind. "Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for inasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain". He's coming back and His reward is with Him. And what we're doing is not in vain. "Sing the wondrous love of Jesus, Sing His mercy and His grace, In the mansions bright and blessed, He'll prepare for us a place". How many of you believe that this morning? I'm telling you how to get off depression pills. I'm telling you how to get out of depression and out of the mulligrubs. Get heaven on your mind.
C.S. Lewis said, "If you read history, the Christians who did the most for the present world were the ones who thought the most of the next world". He went on to say, "When Christians cease to think of the other world, they become ineffective in this one". We need our minds occupied on heaven. "It doth not yet appear what we shall be," 1 John 3:2, "but we know that, when He appears, we shall see Him and we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is". Listen to this. "And every man that has this hope in Him purifies himself..."
Do you know why we have a generation who doesn't think that purity matters and holiness matters and standards matter and convictions matter? Because they don't believe Jesus is coming at any moment and they're not convinced that heaven is greater than this old world, because when you believe what I'm preaching, it will cause you to purify yourself when you have this hope in here. When I was a kid, we heard so much about heaven, we heard so much about the rapture, we heard so much about how glorious it was going to be when we got to the other side that it made us want to purify ourselves and be ready. Two thousand one hundred and sixty-three times, the Bible talks about Christ coming to get us and catch us up out of this old world. And if you believe that, you will purify yourself.
"I can only imagine what my heart will feel. Will I dance for You, Jesus, or will I in awe of You just be still? Will I stand in Your presence or on my knees will I fall? Will I sing hallelujah? Or will I be able to speak at all? I can only imagine". The Bible said in Revelation 13:6 that Satan "opened his mouth to blaspheme God" and three things: to slander God, to slander and speak against His name, and against His dwelling place, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. The enemy slanders three things according to that verse: God's person, God's people, and God's place. He loves to slander heaven.
After forcibly being evicted from heaven, according to Isaiah 14, he is bitter toward God, bitter toward God's people, and bitter towards God's place called heaven, and his chief job is to slander God, His name, His people, and His place. He's speaking lies and blaspheming, saying heaven is not real. It must be maddening to him that we're entitled to the home he was kicked out of. He whispers lies about that place because he's been there. He knows how glorious it is. He knows how wonderful it is. He was kicked out of heaven and he knows we're going to take his place there, so he speaks lies about that place, about the people, and about our God in our darkest hours.
Satan hates the new heaven and the new earth as much as a disposed dictator hates a new nation and a new government that replaces him. He knows how wonderful heaven is going to be. I want you to close your eyes, everybody. Everybody, close your eyes, at every campus. Envision the most beautiful place you've ever been, complete with palm trees, raging rivers, jagged mountains, waterfalls, snow drifts. It's gorgeous. Think of your friends. Think of your family members who love Jesus. They're running to you with open arms. Picture them as you're walking together in this beautiful, beautiful place.
Oh, and by the way, all of you have powerful new bodies. There's no sickness. There's no pain. You're laughing. You're playing. You're talking. You're reminiscing. You're holding. You're hugging. But someone is coming. It's Jesus. He's got a big smile on His face. And I want you to see yourself falling to His knees. And as He pulls you up and embraces you, He tells you, "Welcome home". You've entered into the joy of the Lord. Revelation 21. Look at me. You don't want to leave there. See, you just had heaven on your mind and you don't even want to open your eyes again, do you?
Look at me. Revelation 21 tells us what will not be in heaven. I want to tell you:
There'll be no funeral homes in heaven. The Upper-taker's going to put the undertaker out of business.
There'll be no hospitals there.
There'll be no divorce courts there.
There'll be no bankruptcy courts there.
There'll be no addiction centers there.
There'll be no teen suicide there.
There'll be no drug problems there.
There'll be no gangs in heaven.
There'll be no shootings.
There'll be no acts of terrorism.
There'll be no racial tension or racial divide in heaven.
There'll be no prejudice.
There'll be no injustice.
There'll be no misunderstandings.
There'll be no harsh words.
There'll be no hurt feelings.
There'll be no arguments.
There'll be no gossip.
There will be no worry.
There will be no depression.
There will be no child abuse.
There will be no wars.
There will be no emotional breakdowns.
There will be no murders.
There will be no tears.
There will be no trials, no trauma, no temptations.
There will be no heart monitors.
There will be no wheelchairs.
There'll be no rust.
There'll be no bad habits.
There'll be no doors locked.
There'll be no sin.
There'll be no arguments.
There will be no accidents.
There'll be no suffering.
There'll be no separation.
There'll be no starvation.
There'll be no tears, because He's going to wipe every tear from our eye. No sorrow, no sickness, no death, no crying, no pain; for God shall wipe every tear from their eye. I've heard people say that we won't have our memory in heaven. I don't agree with that. The man remembered things in hell. And I've heard people say, "But we won't remember in heaven". But I believe we'll have a different perspective. We will remember what we've been through and the pains and the hurts and it'll cause us to be overwhelmed with gratitude in our final state of victory. It'll even cause us to worship even more because of what we've been through. Hallelujah.
"Behold, I make all things new". When you get to heaven, He'll make all things new. I want to close with this in Revelation 21. It says, "Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no more sea. And I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men; He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people,'" listen, "'and God Himself will be their God.'" And I love the fact that He said in the 22nd chapter, "And there shall be no night there," verse five, "they shall need lamp or light for the sun, for the Lord God gives them the light," listen, "and they," you and I with Jesus, "and they shall reign forever and forever".
Folks, this is not a fairy tale. This is what the Bible teaches profoundly, and we need to stand on it. So if you're having a bad day, come up here. He invites you. Get your mind on heaven. You'll get to feeling mighty fine if you'll get your mind on heaven. Come up here. What you're going through looks bleak down there, but come up here and you'll see a whole different perspective. And that call to come up here is for many of you. You don't know where you're going to spend eternity. There's people in this room, in overflow, at our campuses, people watching me by television, you don't know where you're going to spend eternity. You flipped on that TV today and you don't know why you're watching that preacher, but I'm telling you, heaven is near.
There's an open door for you today and He's saying, "Come up here; I want to come into your life, I want to give you peace". You don't have to worry about eternity. You can know that your name is written in the Lamb's book of life. Young man, teenager, mom, dad, businessman, there's no greater question to answer than "where will you spend eternity". Come up here. Heaven is saying, "Come". Come like you are. He'll save you. He'll cleanse you. Through the blood of the cross, He'll raise you from death to life.